Posted On August 20, 2013 by Print This Post

Trusting Our Instincts by Adrienne Giordano

RU co-founder and multi-published author Adrienne Giordano talks about instinct and learning to trust ourselves.

Welcome back, Adrienne!

Miriam-Webster definition of instincts:

1: a natural or inherent aptitude, impulse, or capacity (had an instinct for the right word).


a:  a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason.

b:  behavior that is mediated by reactions below the conscious level.

As writers, we constantly have to tap into our creative side. Let’s face it, the books don’t get written without us being creative. There’s nothing easy about writing a book, we all know that. And then when we type THE END there’s a moment of deep satisfaction that only a writer who has completed a book knows.

Then we have to turn our book loose on the world. Whatever road to publishing we choose, as writers we have decisions to make. Dog_Collar_CrimeSometimes there are so many choices we don’t know which way to go, and in a business that is brutally hard, the decisions become more confusing.

I have come to believe that trusting our instincts, no matter how crazy they might seem, can be pivotal. In my case, sometimes trusting my instincts seems to be the only logical choice. After all, no one wants my books to succeed more than I do. There are certainly people invested, but they haven’t lost sleep trying to find the exact word needed to finish a sentence or stared at the computer for hours wondering if the story is a piece of crap. Other people, no matter who they are, simply don’t have the passion for my books that I do. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

Two years ago, I finished a romantic mystery, which was a new genre for me, but the story wouldn’t leave me and I simply had to write it. I loved every second of writing that story. It was light and fun and the characters made me laugh and each day I’d figure out some new way to make the heroine’s brother more irritating. I was actually sad when I finished it.

So, here I was with a romantic mystery to shop when I’d just had the debut of my romantic suspense series. At that point, I wasn’t agented and sent the book to a few agents and editors. The response was always the same. The book I loved so much would be a nightmare to market. No one knew what to do with it. Would it be shelved under romance or mystery? It’s not really a cozy, but it’s…it’s…what?

I considered indie pubbing the book, but was also swamped with edits and writing the next books in my Private Protectors series. For whatever reason, my instincts—that place down deep that ignores the chaos happening in my brain—told me to hold onto the romantic mystery.

To let it sit.

It sat for six months until I signed with an agent who loved it. A year later, we’d still not found a home for my romantic mystery. I was crushed. At the same time, I didn’t panic. We hadn’t queried all that many houses and the indie pubbing explosion was in full swing. I knew from editor feedback that I had a solid book, so I felt fairly certain I’d see this book published at some point.

Again, I considered indie publishing, but my instincts told me to wait. Which was more than a bit frustrating because I wanted to unleash my baby. I was ready. Nope, my instincts told me. Not my time.

I set the book aside. I didn’t know what I was waiting for, but I sure hoped it would be something good.

ThePerfectTen_BundleAnother six months went by before I received an email from my friend and amazing supporter Dianna Love. I will never forget the moment I opened that email. I was sitting in my car getting ready to watch my son play in a baseball tournament and took a second to read the email on my phone. Dianna wanted to know if I had a book that would fit into an indie pubbed romantic suspense/mystery boxed set.

Did I have a book? Did I have a book?

I sure did.

I sat there, my head resting against the seat feeling tremendous relief. If you know anything about Dianna Love, you know she’s a force. She’s a sharp, savvy business woman and I knew working with her on this boxed set would be an incredible career opportunity for me. This was the moment my instincts knew would come.

There I sat, reading the email for the tenth time to make sure I understood (that’s what I do when I’m freaking out) and guess what? I burst into tears. Literally. For two years, I’d wanted so badly to see this book published that I drove myself crazy contemplating options. Should I indie pub? Should I send it to a digital publisher? Should I try smaller presses? I never knew the answer. All I knew was my instincts kept telling me to wait. And I’m so thrilled I did.

I’m not suggesting we all sit on our manuscripts waiting for the world’s greatest opportunity to present itself. That won’t get a book published. What I am suggesting though is that when our subconscious is not just whispering, but screaming at us, perhaps we should trust ourselves and listen.


RU Crew, have you ever made a risky decisions based on instinct?


The Perfect Ten: Explosive suspense, powerful romance and loads of fun by 10 bestsellers.  Available on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and Kobo.


Author and blogger Janice Hardy joins us on Wednesday, August 21st. 


Adrienne GiordanoBio:USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery.  She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier).

She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction. For more information on Adrienne’s books, please visit or download the Adrienne Giordano app. Adrienne can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. For information on Adrienne’s street team, Dangerous Darlings, go to

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23 Responses to “Trusting Our Instincts by Adrienne Giordano”

  1. Adrienne –

    It’s funny. I’ve made big life moves based on instinct since Tech Guy and I decided to move to Qatar in 2005. But it’s taken me WAY longer to do the same with my writing. I was so afraid I didn’t know enough about what was going on in the publishing world for my instincts to guide me properly.

    Once I stopped listening to all the noise and just listened to the people I trust most in this business and heeded my own desires and goals, good things started happening to me.

    The reality is we’ll all make some missteps in this crazy publishing thing, but as long as we stay true to our goals and visions, as long as we keep moving, it’ll all be okay in the long run.

    Congrats on Dog Collar Crime – love that book!

    Posted by Kelsey Browning | August 20, 2013, 7:24 am
  2. Hi Adrienne,

    Some people follow their hearts. I’ve always gone with my gut. Even writing a romance, I make sure every character has a reality check.

    Good luck with your new book!

    Mary Jo

    Posted by Mary Jo Burke | August 20, 2013, 7:42 am
  3. I had to grin when I saw the topic of this post. I’ve been agonizing over a big decision in my writing career. I had all the evidence lined up pro and con and could not make a decision. Then I woke up this morning and one little detail was stuck in my brain–one little thing that symbolized the answer. Angst is gone. Decision is made. “The boys in the basement” do more than just plot work!

    Posted by Sally Bayless | August 20, 2013, 8:06 am
  4. Hi, Sally! Thank you for stopping in. It’s great to catch up with you.

    I’m glad my timing was good on this post. 🙂 And, I agree with you about the boys in the basement. They’re sneaky devils.

    Good luck with your decision. It sounds like you’re ready to roll on it!

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | August 20, 2013, 8:37 am
  5. Hi Adrienne – congrats on Dog Collar Crime. I am 1/3 of the way through and am enjoying it. It is exactly the type of book I needed right now. As a reader-only, it is great to read articles like this. We have no idea what you go through with your writing and when I read behind-the-scene things like this it makes me really look at a book differently. In our reader minds you guys just pop out books. But when I really think about the years it has taken for a book to be publishes, it makes me slow down and cherish the book a little more. Congrats again on Dog Collar Crime and best of luck with the anthology!

    Posted by Amy R | August 20, 2013, 8:41 am
  6. As a horse trainer, trusting your gut is the difference between success and failure. My gut instincts brought me success.

    Now, as a writer it’s a bit harder, but I’m getting there!

    I too had a book that didn’t fit nicely into any of the genres. I sat on it for a while, then did what I knew had to be done.

    NO! I didn’t cut out the thread of paranormal, I didn’t cut out the humor, the mystery, the woman’s journey etc… Instead, I self-published because those who read it loved it, and I just couldn’t face the butchering that was required to publish traditionally.

    Thank you gut instinct!

    Gotta say, I love the way this industry has opened up to trusting one’s gut.

    Congrats on trusting yourself, waiting, and on becoming part of such a great group of writers in an amazing book bundle endeavor!


    Posted by Kathryn Jane | August 20, 2013, 9:11 am
    • Hi, Katt. You are so right about the industry opening up. There are so many authors out there who have great manuscripts that don’t fit into what a traditional publisher needs to market them.

      It’s a great time to be a writer! We have so many options now.

      Posted by Adrienne Giordano | August 20, 2013, 10:27 am
  7. Morning Adrienne!

    I’m constantly reminding myself to trust my instincts. I don’t know how many times I’ve said to myself “Carrie, that’s a bad idea, you’re going to regret it!” And yeah, it usually is. And I usually do. I’ve gotten much better about listening to myself lately though. =)

    Best of luck on your book! Can’t wait to read it!



    Posted by Carrie Spencer | August 20, 2013, 9:12 am
    • Hi, Carrie. Sometimes trusting our instincts can be scary. I think with Dog Collar Crime, my instincts were screaming so loudly I couldn’t ignore them. With this book, more than at any other time in my writing career, I felt sure something would come along. Plus, there wasn’t a huge downside to waiting.

      Sometimes the decisions are bigger and riskier.

      Posted by Adrienne Giordano | August 20, 2013, 10:32 am
  8. I’m thrilled you’re in this box set, Adrienne, but even happier that you have your great book out for everyone to enjoy!! I think this is going to be a fun series that will show readers another side of you. As for taking risks, that’s what keeps life interesting. 🙂

    Posted by Dianna Love | August 20, 2013, 9:49 am
    • Thank you, Dianna! You are so amazing. I have no idea where you get your energy but I want some of it. 🙂

      Thank you also for giving me a fantastic reason to let this book fly on it’s own. I’m so thrilled to see it published. Muhwah!

      Posted by Adrienne Giordano | August 20, 2013, 10:34 am
  9. Heart, guts, whatever. I feel it in my bones! However it works, I don’t question it, I just go with it. When the story isn’t working, I feel pain somewhere. When it is working, I’m euphoric. I don’t second guess myself–that way leads to madness. Now if the WIP would only come together . . .

    Posted by Ann Macela | August 20, 2013, 10:11 am
    • Good morning, Ann. I completely agree. I think sometimes we get in our own way with all the second-guessing. I’ve become a fan of the ugly first draft for just this reason. I try not to edit too much during the first draft and tend to put whatever pops into my head in there. I’m always amazed at the nuggets I find. 🙂

      Posted by Adrienne Giordano | August 20, 2013, 10:36 am
  10. Hi Adrienne,
    Congratulations on finding a spot for the mystery. I wonder why publishers don’t know what to do with a funny, romantic, sexy(?) mystery. Put it up there with Janet Evanovich and Sarah Strohmeyer’s Bubbles series. (Just found that, it’s lots of fun.)
    I have a book I’ve just sent out on a first round to a couple of agents and an editor I met at a conference and I am curious to see the response. I wouldn’t call it funny, but it’s a fun mystery with an overarching romance that spans a couple of books. Why isn’t there a category for this? It’s just what I want to read a lot of the time. Authors and readers need more power. Good for you for taking charge.

    Posted by Judy Hudson | August 20, 2013, 11:43 am
  11. Hi, Judy. I’m sure editors at the big publishing houses get frustrated right along with us because they may love the book and still have to reject it.

    I have an author friend who writes mysteries like we are talking about and I can go into three different bookstores and find her book in three different sections. It’s really fascinating to me.

    Good luck on your submissions!

    Posted by Adrienne Giordano | August 20, 2013, 11:56 am
  12. Hey Adrienne!

    This post is so true for me. About career choices, clients, books, promotion, opportunities to take or pass up on…

    This entire industry relies on so many variables and even when we’re not trying to pay attention to everything–we still are.

    I think this is why our instincts are right. Because, yes, we could take this opportunity, but we have seen a pattern like this before and would like a better outcome for ourselves. Or the pattern we saw before ended wonderfully for THAT person, but we recognize our situations are different.

    This may or may not be true, but I like to think my gut is really my observation skills working hard.

    Posted by Kristin Anders | August 20, 2013, 12:11 pm
    • Ooh, Kristin, I love this quote: “I like to think my gut is really my observation skills working hard.”

      I completely agree with you. For me, everything in this business is an opportunity to learn and observe. I’ve learned so much in the past two years and those lessons have taught me to open my mind to any possibility.

      Thanks for popping in.

      Posted by Adrienne Giordano | August 20, 2013, 2:34 pm
  13. Ugh, sorry to be so late! LOVE this book–and I’m so happy to see it out in the world now.

    Adrienne, congrats on DCC and the awesome boxed set! I love seeing great things happen to great people.


    Posted by Tracey Devlyn | August 20, 2013, 7:43 pm
  14. Wow – What an exciting post! You’re in great company with that boxed set – what a fabulous marketing idea!

    Congratulations on finding a wonderful home for your mystery. I’m definitely going to get the boxed set!

    Posted by Becke Martin Davis | August 21, 2013, 10:50 pm


  1. […] Trusting Our Instincts Adrienne Giordano at Romance University blog on trusting that inner voice about what to do with a story and where it will fit best. […]

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